Can i put potting mix or dirt of soil in water forming a slurry and use it as hydroponics nutrient solution?

I recently saw videos on hydroponics and wanted to set it up my self on a budget, 0$, just as an experiment i cut the cone top of a small mineral water bottle put it upside down like a diy minnow trap and used tissue as substitute for rock wool, filled bottom with water till it just touched the tissue, then plopped a bean in it. I then forgot after putting it behind a fish tank. After 3 days it looks like this. I need nutrient in water so i was thinking about just dumping a palm full of soil, would it work?

Question by Atharva1   |  last reply



Using Worm Tea as Hydroponic nutrients? Answered

Would that work? I want a totally organic hydroponic system, and using worm tea sounds like the best solution. I know I would have to dilute it, but how much, and does it provide everything the plant needs?

Question by Rotten194   |  last reply


Peeponics doggy urine nutrient cycle system

Hi, I have a dog at home who uses a litter tray. It's basically a large plastic water run off tray with some AstroTurf. Currently, I have a pump that draws off liquids and deposits them into an empty soda bottle, which I flush down the toilet. But I was wondering if there is an easy way to convert the urine into nitrates which I could use in an aquaponics, or peeponics, system? Possibly using an attractive under water garden in a 25 gallon fish tank?

Topic by jmlidea   |  last reply



can any body tell me how to mix nutrient solution for a non-circulating hydroponics?

I tried to search how to mix nutrient solutions for non-circulating hydroponics but i hardly understand the units being used so hopely if somebody could make it simpler for me it's really very welcome in my behalf

Question by jovenhatsjr 


some body help me making nutrient solution for my hydroponicplants buying ingredients in local market.?

I am interested in preparing hydroponic nutrient solution for my requirements,so please some body help me in preparing the solution.i want the clear information regarding the micro&macro minerals which should be mixed in what quanties, and the names of the chemicals avilable.

Question by nagesh_g   |  last reply


Hydroponic Solutions

My hydroponic zucchinis are starting to bloom, I was wondering how necessary getting the designated bloom nutrient solution is? I've been using CNS 17 Grow, and don't know if I need to go buy CNS 17 Bloom.Thanks!

Topic by Weissensteinburg 


I want to set up a hydroponics system but don't want to buy commercial nutrient or medium. Answered

Can i just flood the soil the plant is growing in for a temporary portion of the day? I don't have a problem with the pump, just buying the nutrient / medium. Can i just use soil and wet it down really well once a day and then drain it (out the bottom)? Would floating soil in the water being circulated through the system work? I could empty water / put more soil in on a regular basis.

Question by Toulouse   |  last reply


Chlorella Cracking?

I have recently begun looking at algae as a dietary supplement and I would like to grow it on my own.  I am aware that spirulina doesn't require cell cracking; however I already have a high protein diet and I prefer chlorella.  Chlorella's cell wall is indigestable and this prevents our bodies from getting any more than 40% of the nutrients.  I would like to know if that figure sounds right.  The biggest problem I see with growing my own Chlorella is cracking it.  I wondered about pulverizing it in a blender or using the hot to cold method, but it seems all methods other than ultrasonic waves will destroy most of the nutrients.  Is it still better to use one of these methods to get the nutrients out, or would it be best to go uncracked.  Or is there a practical way to use the sound to do it.

Question by jj.inc   |  last reply


Is the effluent produced by a biogas generator enough to feed plants in a hydroponic system?

I'm looking at various ways to grow food free/almost free in a small space.  I would like to grow enough veg to feed myself comfortably. Hydroponics in a vertical farm set up would allow me to grow lots of veg in a small space, trouble is I now need nutrients to feed my plants. After much reading, it looks like I could anaerobically digest all my food waste (including meat, diary, plant stems and anything else that decomposes) in a biogenerator. If I use the resulting liquid effluent, would this alone be sufficient to grow healthy plants.  Are all the nutrients they need going to be in sufficient proportion and are they all in an accessible form for plants. Will I need to add bottled nutrients from a store to top it up? Another question is if the effluent is safe or a biohazard?  My reading so far suggests that most pathogens are killed off in the anaerobic process. Is there anyone who has tried anything like this already? So far I can only find people who are fertilising crops in soil with the effluent. Any comments are greatly appreciated. P.S: for those who do not know what a biogenrator does/is.. a quick description.  Its a sealed tank filled with water, waste (shredded) is added, naturally occuring bacteria in the water (not dependent on oxygen to survive) breakdown the waste into their nutrient parts, methane is also produced by the bacteria (methane is CH4, carbon is in the waste and hydrogen is in the water), the methane can be tapped off for burning and the old liquid can also be tapped off, supposedly this liquid is an extremely good nutrient source, though I don't know if it could sustain plants grown hydroponically on its own.

Question by sloth456   |  last reply


What Digestive Enzymes do Dogs Have?

I know that dogs and/or wolves have different and/or fewer digestive enzymes in their systems than humans.  I also know that they have no enzymes in their saliva and therefore no need for chewing.  What I want to know is what enzymes they do have.  I want to know what things they can get nutrients from.  Wolves in the wild eat the stomach contents of their prey, but do they absorb nutrients from it? Also is it their prey's enzymes that let them digest the stomach contents, or their own?

Question by tincanz   |  last reply


Has anyone thought of 'brewing' tea in the same way as beer? Answered

I know that tea leaves are sometimes used as a yeast nutrient in other drinks but I was wondering if you could get a "stronger" and fizzy ice tea thing going on?

Question by jokerlz   |  last reply


Aeroponics

I hope my mom doesn't see this, its going to be her birthday gift hopefully ;D. I was looking around instructables for good projects for my garden-loving and food-growing mom, and noticed several hydroponic systems. They all looked nice, but I noticed one thing: they all used the nutrient-film or submerged plant technique. I'm no expert, but this seemed bad for the roots. Rot, anyone? I recalled a system I had seen at Walt Disney World in the distant past (OK, 4 years ago :P), where plants roots passed through a nutrient-laden mist. This seemed a better solution to me, allowing the best nature of hydroponics to take root (no pun intended lol): supplying the roots with nutrients while allowing them to breathe and supporting them. I thought about how to create the mist and it hit me: a hose sprayer. Most sprayers nowadays come with an adjuster nozzle to change the flow, so if one were to move it to "mist" position, tape down the handle and attach it to a large submersible pump on a timer, you have a cheap aeroponics system. I'll be writing an instructable when I can, so stay tuned for updates.

Topic by Rotten194   |  last reply


Any tips on DIY salt pills / electrolyte replacement?

I was trying to figure out how to make inexpensive electrolyte pills. From my calculations, one could make the daily recommended equivalent (assuming no other food has said nutrients): Table Salt - 1 tsp (primarily: NaCl, gives sodium) Salt Substitute - 2 tsp (primarily: KCl, gives potassium) Milk of Magnesia - 1 tbsp (primarily: Mg(OH)2, gives magnesium) Antacid Tablets - 5 pills (primarily: CaCO3, gives calcium) This could be useful to endurance athletes and people who are practicing prolonged water-only fasting. Has any of you tried to make something like this before? What other essential nutrients would you include? Any recommendations for a phosphorus source?

Question by vreinkymov   |  last reply


Question on plant cell life?

Hey, As someone who wants to try micropropagation I would like to know how long plant cells can live when cut from the main tissue that they're found? And if the liquid that they're suspended in and the nutrients really make the difference can I be advised as to what solution to make up for transport? Any help would be great, Thanks, Tom

Question by thomas9666   |  last reply


Bio-Char Pellets

I didn't see a speel on this topic yet so now we have one. I wrote this to a forum for bio-pellet maker's and thought that I would pass it along to you to read. Enjoy. ______________________________________________________ Hello, I am new to the forum and to pellet making altogether really. I am an open researcher of the net at the present time have become interested in many topics I come across. The downfall of the net, for some, is that there so much information, it can boggle the mind. I ran across the videos put out by the web site on YouTube and decided to pose a question to the site administrator. They still have not gotten back to me, but I think from the posts on the forum you are a pretty busy group - he is likely looking into it. The newest thing on the 'Save the World' front is Bio-char. I asked if the pellet machine would be able to convert bio-char into a pellet form. I do know that the bio-char can be hand pressed, or screw extruded into briquettes. This is done in many countries around the world. What I think would work the best is the small pellets that your group are making. I will give a little bit of back ground for my idea. Researchers who have explored the rain forests of the Amazon have come across a soil type which is man-made. They call it 'Terra-Preta' or 'Dark Earth'. I have found out that the soil of the rain forest is not particularly suited to growing vegetation (this surprised me) and the ancient civilizations in the area would treat the soils. These plots of land they are finding today are estimated to be 100's of years old (in terms of last use) and are amazingly fertile as compared to other soils in the immediate area. They only run 4-5 feet in depth and cover the known growing plot area of the period. Today’s natives actually hunt out these plots and sell the fertile soil as an income. The keys to this fertile soil is a high carbon content and pottery chards. Both materials are very porous in nature. What happens is the nutrients that come to the treated soil gets trapped in the pores of the material and are held there, rather than being washed straight through the soil. These nutrients are then extracted from the material be the root systems of the plants as they grow. As the spaces in the material open up again they are refilled with newly arrived nutrients. This material has proven that it can remain in the soil for 100's of years - as is found in the 'Terra-Preta' plots. By the way these plots are not isolated to the Amazon they are found around the World in different areas. The thing is that the way they are made - the technique was lost. These plots around the World are being used up and the farmers are running out of nutrient rich natural (organic) soil. Some feel that the burning of the fields in the way to go as it has been done that way for ages. Well, the soil is dying and it working. The soils are being depleted. Plant matter which is made of carbon, takes its building blocks from the soil and therefore the soil is lacking carbon after centuries of use. But, because we had one lazy, or work saving generation, who knows how long ago, we have lost the technique of how to care for the soils. Tests run in Africa are showing an amazing 500+% increase in crop yields in the first year. They are still using un-organic fertilizers as that is what they thought they needed, but that can change now. Their soil is so bad in some areas that nothing would grow. If any farmer could get a 20% increase in annual yields they would be happy. The reason that the use of chemicals came into large use was because of the depleted soils. If the chemicals did not wash away (trapped in the carbon for future use) there would be less need in the future. Ideally there would be none needed in the future. So what are we doing? At present we grow plant material, burn it, and release the carbon into the atmosphere. I don't go for the global warming thing, but do feel it is not a good thing happening. The dirt on my car every day tells me that things are changing for the worse - I didn't see that as a child. What we can do is grow the plant material, burn a portion of it to covert another portion of the material back into carbon, and put that carbon back into the soil. This cuts emissions to the air (from that aspect of society) to 50% of what it was. Pellets can play a big part in this. My idea was to convert plant matter to char and the char to pellets. The pellets would be good as they are finding in test fields that the microbes in the soils like to grow in the larger pieces. 'It makes the soil happy' - they have a community of their own. You do not want too large of chunks as that makes the soil difficult to work with. Too small of piece (on surface soil) will be blown away on windy days. The windblown soil may not seem like a big thing, but the carbon has the nutrients now remember. Keep all you can on the fields instead of the forest. If you wish to recarbonize the forest soil, spread it through the forest in your spare time. It should be said here that the carbon upon introduction to the soil will deplete the soil of nutrients at first. This is the carbon 'charging' itself. The pores of the carbon are filling and will have the nutrients there; it just looks like the nutrients are gone. This is why it is a good idea to pre-charge the carbon before introduction to the soil. Mix it with compost or manure for a couple of weeks and let the pores fill. The nutrients will then be added to the soil with the carbon. This where the pottery chars they find in 'Terra-Preta' come from. They are the holding vessels from the indoor urinals and toilets - charged and stinky they were broken in the fields. This may not work as far as making pellets from bio-char goes. What about bio-char from pellets. This would be easy to test for you people. You have the machines and the wits to do it. The market is there if you want to sell the end material. Every back-yard composter, in every city will want this stuff. I hope I wasn't too long winded on this. It is an important topic, especially if you are a rural resident. City dwellers with a green thumb can help, but the rural residents hold a majority of the bio-matter. For more information Google 'bio-char' also 'making charcoal from wood' you can get into the worm castings and all that, but once the nutrients are in your soil the rest of the good things will come and live there without help.

Topic by strmrnnr   |  last reply


Green indoor gardening

I have had an interest in building a greenhouse like area with flouresent bulbs, automated water, and climate control. For the water i could hook up a hose on a timer to a bit of pvc but what is the best way to get proper climate control. What is the desired composition of a water? I guess the question is how do i get nutrient water and proper vitamins straight to a plant?

Topic by Mikethebuilder   |  last reply


I have a few questions about a compost bin made out of pallets.

 (1) I live in new york and its pretty humid and it rains occasionally. would it help to put a tarp over it to keep out the rain? Because ive heard that it (the rain) can drain nutrients into the soil. (2) would the compost decompose the pallets?. (3) would it help to staple tarp or plastic to the out side?  (the compost bin is the pallet compost bin by kootsman)

Question by Greenguyh2o   |  last reply


Plants slowly dying in an odd way, any gardeners out there who can tell me why? Answered

I have an aerogarden with some strawberries.  They started just fine but they recently ran into some trouble.  The leaves started yellowing.  I did a little research and it seemed to match the symptoms for magnesium deficiency.  I switched nutrient mixes, thinking that might help, but it seems like it isn't getting any worse or better.  It's looked like this for about a month, not much growth, not much die off.

Question by finfan7   |  last reply


Hydroponics Advice

I'm interested in starting up a little NFT hydroponics system. I just want to grow some stuff like lettuce and cucumbers, etc. Living in Florida, is my timing really bad (is now a bad time to start)? Also, with hydroponics and veggies, after a harvest, do I need to replant, or will the plants simply continue to grow? (I'm new to plants, if you can't tell) Also - where can I find supplies like an inexpensive pump, expanded clay balls, and nutrients? Any other advice that you think I might need would be greatly appreciated, thanks!

Topic by Weissensteinburg   |  last reply


why are my jalapeno chillis turning purple?

Hi, I am growing jalapeno's for the first time and something strange is happening, some of the jalapenos are turning deep purple. I was wondering, could this be due to sunburn? or mineral defficiency? they live in pots but the pot is way big enough, generally when the roots appear at the pot base i repot. Also ive added fertilizer a few times and added some seasol (seaweed extract) recently as well, so there ought to be enough nutrients in the soil. Could the purpling be from sunburn? some jalapenos are only purple on one side, and green on the other, or could it be sun exposure is causing some sides to rapidly ripen, such as what occures to some apple varieties . Does anyone know exactly what causes the purpling to occure, and will it at all have an effect on the outcome of the fruit?

Question by oldmanbeefjerky   |  last reply


watermelon seedlings are turning black and dying for some reason?

Hi, recently ive been trying to grow watermelons from seed, but for some reason at one point or another some leaves start to go broan/black and die off around the edges, and eventually it spreads until the whole plant inevitably just goes and dies. i cant find anywhere on the internet about this, or anyone else having this problem. one thing i should note is that these seedlings (and two established plants over a meter long) are in pots and containers when this begins to happen. is it just them dying from a lack of nutrients? in which case should i just me planting them directly into the soil once they have reached a certain size? the same thing seems to be happening with various species of watermelon, please help!

Question by oldmanbeefjerky   |  last reply


Monster hunter

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Full combination list : +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ 1.Potion = Blue Mushroom + Herb 2.Mega Potion = Potion(1)+ Honey 3.Nutrients = Blue Mushroom + Godbug 4.Mega Nutrients = Nutrients(3)+ Honey 5.Antidote = Antidote Herb + Blue Mushroom 6.Herbal Medicine = Cactus Flower + Bitterbug 7.Max Potion = Mega Nutrients(4)+ Dragon Toadstool 8.Ancient Potion = Imunizer(10)+ Kelbi Horn 9.Catalyst=Bitterbug+Honey 10.Imunizer=Catalyst(9)+Dragon Toadstool 11.Power Juice=Catalyst(9)+Rare Steak 12.Mega Juice = Power Extract + Well Done Steak 13.Demondrug = Catalyst(9)+ Power Seed 14.Mega Demondrug = Pale Extract + Demondrug(13) 15.Armourskin = Catalyst(9)+ Armour Seed 16.Mega Armourskin = Pale Extract + Armourskin(15) 17.Poisoned Meat = Raw Meat + Toadstool 18.Tainted Meat = Raw Meat + Stunshroom 19.Drugged Meat = Raw Meat + Sleep Herb 20.Bomb Material = Stone + Sap Plant 21.Smoke Bomb = Bomb Material(20)+ Ivy 22.Flash Bomb = Bomb Material(20)+ Flashbug 23.Dung Bomg = Bomb Material(20)+ Dung 24.Paintball = Paintberry + Sap Plant 25.Gunpowder = Nitroshroom + Fire Herb 26.Small Barrel Bomb = Small Barrel + Fire Herb 27.Large Barrel Bomb = Large Barrel + Gunpowder(25) 28.Sonic Bomb = Gunpowder(25)+ Screamer 29.Net = Spiderweb + Ivy 30.Pitfall Trap = Net(29)+ Trap Tool 31.Tuna Bait = Worm + Yambug 32.Arrowana Bait = Cricket + Bughopper 33.Goldenfish Bait = Firefly + Snakebee Larva 34.Antiseptic Stone = Bitterbug + Earth Crystal 35.Lifecrystals = Godbug + Wyvern Fang 36.Lifepowder = Lifecrystals(35)+ Wyvern Claw 37.Health Flute = Lifepowder(36)+ Flute 38.Antidote flute = Antiseptic stone(34)+ Flute 39.Demon Flute = Mega Demondrug(13)+ Med Monster Bone 40.Armour Flute = Mega Armourskin(15) + Med Monster Bone 41.Normal S Lv2 = Huskberry + Needleberry 42.Normal S Lv3 = Huskberry + Rumblefish 43.Pierce S Lv1 = Huskberry + Velociprey Fang 44.Pierce S Lv2 = Huskberry + Pin Tuna 45.Pierce S Lv3 = Sm Bone Husk + Pin Tuna 46.Pellet S Lv1 = Huskberry + Scatternut 47.Pellet S Lv2 = Huskberry + Wyvern Fang 48.Pellet S Lv3 = Sm Bone Husk + Wyvern Fang 49.Crag S Lv1 = Huskberry + Burst Arrowana 50.Crag S Lv2 = Sm Bone Husk + Burst Arrowana 51.Crag S Lv3 = Lg Bone Husk + Bomb Arrowana 52.Clust S Lv1 = Huskberry + Bomberry 53.Clust S Lv2 = Sm Bone Husk + Wyvern Claw 54.Clust S Lv3 = Lg Bone Husk + Scatterfish 55.Disk S = Huskberry + Disk Stone 56.Recover S Lv1 = Huskberry + Herb 57.Recover S Lv2 = Huskberry + Potion(1) 58.Poison S Lv1 = Huskberry + Toadstool 59.Poison S Lv2 = Sm Bone Husk + Ioprey Fang 60.Stun S Lv1 = Huskberry + Stunshroom 61.Stun S Lv2 = Sm Bone Husk + Genprey Fang 62.Sleep S Lv1 = Huskberry + Sleep Herb 63.Sleep S Lv2 = Sm Bone Husk + Sleepyfish 64.Paint S = Huskberry + Paintberry 65.Antidote S = Huskberry + Antidote Herb 66.Demon S= Huskberry + Power Seed 67.Armour S = Huskberry + Armour Seed 68.Dragon S = Lg Bone Husk + Dragon Seed 69.Dung S = Huskberry + Dung Now dont ask for Items combinations anymore they all are here... once i get MHF I'll add the new ones if theres some

Topic by jellybean10122 


Biocouture: grow your own clothes.

Every so often, a bit of cutting edge science makes you sit back and think; This is so simple! Why didn't they think of this earlier? Instead of using animal parts, or plant fibres, BioCouture aims, ultimately, to grow entire garments in a vat. Right now, they grow mats of bacteria and yeast in a bath of nutrients, which spin mats of cellulose fibres that can be shaped into garments, resulting in a material dubbed "vegetable leather". The use of the material is limited - it cannot be worn in the rain, and it decomposes like any other vegetable matter, but the original team of artists have turned their idea over to "proper" scientists, who are working to modify the final product to be hydrophobic and longer lasting.  Until then, the garments they produce are unique, and transient, since they can end their useful lives on the compost heap. In the mean time, this is stuff grown in bath tubs - any Maker with a spare room and a biological leaning could be producing this stuff themselves. There's a patch for the first member to grow their own Robot t-shirt ;-)

Topic by Kiteman   |  last reply


Sawdust as a medium for hydroponics? Answered

Actually I have 2 questions pertaining to hydroponics. First you should know that I have a passive hydroponic system functioning right now the container is partially submerged in a nutrient solution with holes in the bottom of the container. The medium I'm using right now is perlite to allow more oxygen and act like a wick. I do have a top layer of aquarium gravel to anchor the plant better. I've been thinking of trying to add more oxygen to the roots by using an air pump. I was going to insert the tube from the top (the dry section above the water) pointing down to the wet section to blow some air to the roots. Would this be an unnecessary addition if I continue to use perlite as a medium? My second question is the title, would sawdust work as a medium for hydroponics? I assume it would be able to act like a wick for a passive system my concern is would the roots get enough oxygen in sawdust? Also most mediums are inert sawdust wouldn't be, would that have a negative impact on my plant?

Question by thecoonskin   |  last reply


How do I build water level indicators for hydroculture pots?

I need water level indicators in opaque planting pots filled with LECA (Light Expanded Clay Aggregate) growing medium. The indicator needs to sit down in the LECA to the bottom of the pot with an indicator above the LECA to show how much water is in the bottom and non-viewable portion of the pot. The indicator can be a simple rise and fall system or even electronic, so long as it is low profile and does not harm the plant. The pots are different sizes, so I need a way to make the unit in various heights. Water levels I need to measure include a max level that varies per pot, a low level at about 1/4 or 1/2 an inch of water, and empty. Something that will look nice and not take away from the beauty of the plant is desirable, but functionality is the most important aspect of this project. Hydroculture is also known as static hydroponics. The LECA I am using is Hydroton. With Hydroculture, plants are grown without soil. The Hydroton provides water and nutrients to the plant roots via capillary action and it is important that the maximum water level is just below the roots. The roots are not submerged in hydroculture like they are in hydroponics. Give me your best ideas, creators!

Question by Anianna   |  last reply


automated hydroponic system ?

Hello, I want to make automated hydroponic grown plant system that will sense condition and provide sufficient Mineral Nutrients for growing hydroponic plant.  we place the seed into water, seed grow into water , growth should start after 2 or 3 weeks.we don’t feed fertilizer until the first set of true leaves appears When seeding develop their true leaves and roots. Its time to feeding fertilize.we need to provide right fertilizer for good growth Most common fertilizer is NPK, after two or three weak or after the first set of true leaves appear we need to fertilize plant. Fertilize approx every two weeks Automated system (small and low cost system) Parameter – conductivity Project part list Electrodes probes Micorcontroller Amplifier or filter Resistor A to D converter Ic Volve or relay Automated system that Add more or less fertilizer into water ,that maintain conductivity range Best time to fertilize plant Time- fertilize plant after their active growth ,after two or three weak or after the first set of true leaves apper we need to fertilize plant ADD small value of NPK into water because small plant take less fertilizer After two weeks Add large value of NPK into water because large plant take large fertilizer Provide enough NPK to complete their life cycle we can measure conductivity of whole solution. how to make Automated system that will Add more or less fertilizer into water on basis of conductivity If plant need more or less fertilizer system  will adjust itself

Question by vead   |  last reply


how much potassium nitrate should i use to speed growth of watermelon seedlings?

Hi, I have several KG's of potassium nitrate, and am currectly growing watermelons, among other plants, however my concern is mostly with the watermelons. I live in mackay, tropical queensland, the sun here is very harsh, and when the wind blows, well, its pretty hard. i have only a limited amount of time before these seedlings use up all the nutrients in their dirt, (they are currently in an egg carton filled with dirt), and each their maximum size before they start to starve. I want to know, how much potassium nitrate i can use to boost their growth to get them as big as possible for when they go outside. Where i live, the house is pretty aerodynamic, you exprenice windyness from all four sides, so i need them as strong as possible for that time that i plant them outside, in large individual pots, until theyve grown enough to be planted around my spoon drain. Anyway, i need to get them to grow ALLOT, and i have the potassium nitrate, however, nitrate is toxic to plants, so i need to know what a safe quantity might be. im not asking for the exact best value, but just anything that will aid in boosting growth before they get repotted would be great. thanks. also, my tomatos, black russian and some random huge tomato, is growing very slowly, would nitrate help them also? and pumpkin, when the seed sprouted, part of the seed was dead, and so two starter leaves were bound together, and died, leaving it leafless. new leaves are starting to appear, but not fast enough as its turning yellow, again, would nitrate help?

Question by oldmanbeefjerky   |  last reply


Hands-on Weekend Algaculture Workshop

October 18-19, 2008@ The Algae Lab in Berkeley, CAalgaelab.org: a component of The Shipyard / All Power LabsIt's a fact. Food, fuel, fertilizer, fresh water, and arable land --all are running out. But there is a crop that can grow in salt water,on true waste land, creating all the products we need by eatinggreenhouse gases and water water. And can grow 100x faster thanconventional crops. Algae! A truly green crop for a sustainablefuture.We are the Shipyard algae lab community. We have created the world'sfirst community algae lab -- for development of open source,DIY-oriented algae technology, to facilitate the co-operative pursuitof this new form of agriculture -- and we invite *you* to come learnhow to raise algae and transform them into exciting products!Whether you are looking for a job in the exploding algae biofuelsfield, or thinking about creating your own farm, we can help you getup to speed! We have created an independent, non-profit algaelaboratory for teaching and research using low-cost, widely-availablematerials, and we qould love to teach you how! Get on board with thisexciting, expanding field that's truly "green"!Over the course of the weekend we will teach you:The current state of algae farming technology, and where it's headed,What algae are interesting, and for what purposes,How to obtain algae strains,How to figure out the right nutrients for your algae,How to design and build effective ponds and bio-reactors,How to "grow out" your algae into a full-sized pond or bio-reactor,How to monitor the health of your algae, andHow to harvest your algae and make them into food, fuel, and fertilizer!All levels of experience and expertise are welcome. Graduates areeligible to become members of our lab and to use its facilities.October 18 & 19th, 11am - 6pm1010 Murray St, Berkeley, CA 94710$150 per participantmore info: [www.algaelab.org algaelab.org]contact: workshop@algaelab.org

Topic by noahw   |  last reply


PH BALANCED NO-RINSE FOAMING SOAP ANYONE??

HI. My mom is bed ridden and we have to give her baths in bed. We have tried several different foaming no-rinse soaps and have found on that works the best: Medline Remedy 4-in-1 Body Cleanser. It is good in so many ways, pH Balanced, Non-allergenic, leaves her skin soft, smells great...nice sort of mango-vanilla smell. Problem is, it's $10 + per bottle, depending on where we get it. Here is the product description: Remedy 4-in-1 Body Cleanser cleanses, moisturizes, provides mild protection against transepidermal water loss (TEWL) and nourishes skin in one step. Helps reduce odor. Optimizes shelf space and nursing time. Ready-to-use, no-rinse foam stays in place to prevent product spills, waste and patient discomfort. One bottle contains over 340 pumps of foam.Harsh soaps and surfactants strip skin of moisture and contribute to TEWL. Remedy 4-in-1 Cleansers have a phospholipid base that binds both water and nutrients to gently clean and condition the skin. Remedy cleansers contain ingredients derived from natural and organic oils that mimic the body's natural lipids. Remedy cleansers can also be used during showers in place of soaps. The phospholipids will gently cleanse the skin without stripping it from its natural oils.Olivamine is a blend of antioxidants, amino acids, vitamins and methylsulfonylmethane (MSM). These ingredients are all known to play a vital role in basic cellular construction and protection. Olivamine contains antioxidants like hydroxytyrosol, the most potent antioxidant known today (derived from olives). It also contains amino acids like L-proline, L-cysteine and glycine - three of the main building blocks of collagen. These components are also treated with photoacoustic resonance to help minimize the tendency for inflammation, and to ensure they can be rapidly accepted by the skin.No-rinse foam for head-to-toe cleansing and conditioning. Indicated for hair, body, perineal and peristomal areas.Remedy is a trademark of Medline Industries, Inc. UPC is: 0 80196 30616 2 CAN ANYONE COME UP WITH A LESS EXPENSIVE, HOME-MADE OPTION TO THIS? Thanks

Topic by oreoero   |  last reply


How to create a self-managed vegetable garden ?

Hi everyone !*** Long introduction *** My name is Romain, I'm french, sorry beforehand for my bad English. I'm a systems and network engineer and I like to create and design things to improve my day-to-day life. One of my main concern is about what I eat everyday and I think sometimes it's overly complicated to respond to simples questions : is it a good or a bad product ? is it good or bad for me ?.. To solve this problem I try to learn things about nutrition, how to cook well (without losing a lot of nutrients for example), what are healthy products etc. In France we try to learn to people to eat fruits and vegetables (with a leitmotiv : "Manger 5 fruits et légumes par jour" / "Eat 5 fruits and vegetables a day") OK. But how are fruits and vegetables grown? with pesticides, chemical fertilizer, etc. :-/ Not cool at all ! Best solution : buy fresh organic products. But it's still more expensive than other (logically). So another solution : grow your own food *** Short introduction *** My name is Romain, this is the summay of my thinking : want to be in good health ? -> eat good food want to eat good food ? -> grow your own food My project / idea : Create a thing (rack, table, or whatever) to grow my own food (aromatic herbs, some vegetables, fruits) everyday, all year round. Some constraints :cheap but solidmovable (go indoor or outdoor) / lightweight / can be taken to pieces (-> plant pot on the one hand and rack on the other hand)self-sufficient in waterelectrical need only in winter (indoor) / low power -> LED light to help grown for darkest daysre-usable (no disposable component)scalable (possibility to create another same "thing") to multiply size of the gardenIdeas :Have a water storage in the top of installation (not too high, to be "easily" filled) but on the top to use gravity to water the plantsHave some specials lights to help plants growing when winter is arrivedHave wheel to be movableHave sensor to be (a little) connected, for me, not a specialist of cultivation, like light sensor and humidity sensor => which would drive the water valve and light power on/offMy little flat will not allow me to be self-sufficient in food, but to have some precious ingredient for everyday cooking.So if anyone had the experience of doing all or one part of what I thinking about, I'm open to all suggestions or recommendations. Thank you, Have a nice day !

Question by Romain042 


Food Creator and dispensor

This project is currently in the research stage. Having been reading the books 'Zero to Maker' by David Lang (OpenROV) and 'The Toaster Project' by Thomas Thwaites I have realised what I need is a project with a goal to take me out of the Arduino blinky light and solder kit zone, in to real making/hacking. Lang suggests an 'Unknown Project' which as I understand it is one that has been unexplored or under-explored, and he also suggests that using a popular forum to log, share and discus ideas would help the process along. So my idea, is an open hardware food creating machine, that will produce a large array of food, from a limited array of ingredients (approx 50) that can be made easily, and a ingredient markup language. 3d food printers in current development are either impractical or unappealing to me. They range from candy makers, ones that still need to be hand finished and cooked or the one publicised for receiving NASA funding recently used dead bugs. They seem all to focus on the gimmick, and not the food, and I like food. The other approach is the barbots, which seem to mostly perform flawlessly, but are unable to produce food. So my approach is to work through the process logically and break it down to sub projects. Design meals by hand using the limited ingredients for proof of concept, choose the ingredients to provide the widest possible range of nutrients and transpose the recipies to psudocode that can be easilly transformed in to a markup language later. Design a process for mixing and cooking ingredients. I envision a system of different food processors, steamers, boilers etc. and a range of extruding dies. Design a self cleaning system. Possibly ultrasonic or ionic. To that end, here is my preliminary list of ingredients. sugar, salt, oil, water, co2,Alcohol 37.5%,pectin,bicarb,nutritional yeast coffee,tea,mint,cocoa,garlic,oregano,chilli powder, paprika rice,soya,corn,wheat lemon extract,orange extract,tomato powder,dried apple,dried carrots,dried peas,potato powder. These ingredients can be used to make among other things, sausages, burgers, curry's, pasta, fries, soups, cereals, 'cider', cocktails, deserts, sodas, sauces, egg cheese and milk substitutes. So that's my plan. What do you guy think, and what ingredients would you add and why? And what would you call it? There are loads of things I left out as everything will change as I work through the process. Thanks for reading, Haydn

Topic by HaydnJones   |  last reply


How to create a self-managed vegetable garden ?

Hi everyone !*** Long introduction ***My name is Romain, I'm french, sorry beforehand for my bad English. I'm a systems and network engineer and I like to create and design things to improve my day-to-day life.One of my main concern is about what I eat everyday and I think sometimes it's overly complicated to respond to simples questions : is it a good or a bad product ? is it good or bad for me ?..To solve this problem I try to learn things about nutrition, how to cook well (without losing a lot of nutrients for example), what are healthy products etc. In France we try to learn to people to eat fruits and vegetables (with a leitmotiv : "Manger 5 fruits et légumes par jour" / "Eat 5 fruits and vegetables a day")OK. But how are fruits and vegetables grown? with pesticides, chemical fertilizer, etc. :-/ Not cool at all !Best solution : buy fresh organic products. But it's still more expensive than other (logically).So another solution : grow your own food*** Short introduction ***My name is Romain, this is the summay of my thinking :want to be in good health ? -> eat good foodwant to eat good food ? -> grow your own foodMy project / idea :Create a thing (rack, table, or whatever) to grow my own food (aromatic herbs, some vegetables, fruits) everyday, all year round.Some constraints :cheap but solidmovable (go indoor or outdoor) / lightweight / can be taken to pieces (-> plant pot on the one hand and rack on the other hand)self-sufficient in waterelectrical need only in winter (indoor) / low power -> LED light to help grown for darkest daysre-usable (no disposable component)scalable (possibility to create another same "thing") to multiply size of the gardenIdeas :Have a water storage in the top of installation (not too high, to be "easily" filled) but on the top to use gravity to water the plantsHave some specials lights to help plants growing when winter is arrivedHave wheel to be movableHave sensor to be (a little) connected, for me, not a specialist of cultivation, like light sensor and humidity sensor => which would drive the water valve and light power on/offMy little flat will not allow me to be self-sufficient in food, but to have some precious ingredient for everyday cooking.So if anyone had the experience of doing all or one part of what I thinking about, I'm open to all suggestions or recommendations.Thank you,Have a nice day !

Question by Romain042 


Canada Set to Ban "Weed-n-Feed" Products

Re-evaluation Note REV2010-01, Uncoupling of Fertilizer-Pesticide Combination Products for Lawn and Turf Uses 2 February 2010 HC Pub: 100037 ISBN: 978-1-100-14700-0 (print version) ISBN: 978-1-100-14701-7 (PDF version) Catalogue number: H113-5/2010-1E (print version) Catalogue number: H113-5/2010-1E-PDF (PDF version) Table of Contents 1.0 Purpose 2.0 Scope 3.0 Background 4.0 Regulatory decision 1.0 Purpose This document is to communicate to stakeholders the decision to uncouple fertilizer-pesticide combination products intended for lawn and turf uses. 2.0 Scope This regulatory action is focussed on the lawn and turf uses of fertilizer-pesticide combination products on the following types of turf: Lawn turf planted in or around residences, as well as public and commercial buildings including schools and cemeteries Sports and recreational turf such as turf in parks, playgrounds, golf courses, zoos, botanical gardens and athletic playing fields These types of turf are collectively known as fine turf, which may be maintained by homeowners or by professional applicators. This regulatory action does not include agricultural uses of fertilizer-pesticide combination products (turf farms), or products that have a single active material with both fertilizer and pesticidal properties. 3.0 Background Health Canada's Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) regulates pesticides under the Pest Control Products Act including those intended for lawn and turf uses. All pesticide products that are registered for use and sale in Canada have undergone rigorous health and environmental risk assessments including the pesticides present in fertilizer-pesticide combinations. Pesticides are often combined with fertilizers and sold as fertilizer-pesticide combination products, which are regulated by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency under the Fertilizers Act. When pesticides are combined with fertilizer such that the two components can only be applied at the same time and to the same area, the delivery mechanism for the pesticide component is brought into question. The very nature of combination products removes the flexibility of applying the pesticide as a spot application due to the need to accommodate the fertilizer, which is designed for broadcast application to the entire lawn surface at specified times of the year. Pesticides should only be used when and where there is a need. Broadcast applications of pesticides over the whole area are warranted only for severe pest infestations that are widespread. As pest infestations are typically patchy, spot applications of pesticides to those areas are most often sufficient to ensure adequate control in turf. To be effective, fertilizers and pesticides must each be applied at the appropriate timings, which typically do not coincide. Fertilizers are most often applied in spring or early summer, and/or in late summer or fall. A spring-applied lawn fertilizer results in increased tillering and rapid growth as temperatures increase, resulting in turf of increased density. A fall-applied lawn fertilizer also results in increased tillering and may result in increased winter hardiness. The majority of pesticides found in pesticide-fertilizer combination products are broadleaf herbicides belonging to the synthetic auxin group of chemicals. This group of chemicals only controls broadleaf weeds that have emerged and are actively growing in the lawn. These herbicides are not preventative in that they will only control weeds that have emerged and they do not prevent weeds from becoming established in the lawn. Further, this group of chemicals is not long lasting in that they do not persist in the soil to prevent future weed infestations. Combination products have been purchased for their convenience and ease of use as a two-in-one product to address separate lawn maintenance issues (for example, nutrient deficiency and various pest infestations) with a single application. However, these products are unsuitable as a delivery mechanism because they support broadcast application of the pesticide when this might not be warranted. Ultimately, fertilizer and pesticide applications should be based on need. Fertilizer should only be used if the turf will benefit from additional nutrients, and pesticide should only be used as a broadcast treatment if the pest densities are sufficiently high across the area to be treated. Targeted, well-timed liquid formulations of pesticides minimize pesticide use on the lawn and turf sites. 4.0 Regulatory decision Based on consultation with the provinces, experts and registrants, the PMRA has concluded that fertilizer-pesticide combination products for lawn and turf uses do not support the goals of best practices for pest management in turf. The PMRA, in conjunction with Canadian Food Inspection Agency, is taking action to uncouple the fertilizer-pesticide combination products intended for lawn and turf uses. A date of last sale of 31 December 2012 for fertilizer-pesticide combination products for lawn and turf uses has been set in order to allow for replacement products to be made available where needed. Should situations arise to warrant the use of a fertilizer-pesticide combination product for lawn and turf uses, the PMRA will assess combination products in terms of the timing of application and flexibility to apply as a spot treatment, as well as potential risks to human health and the environment. The PMRA decision to uncouple fertilizer-pesticide combination products is not based on the health or environmental risk assessments but rather the nature of combination products. Combination products remove the flexibility of applying spot applications of the pesticide due to the need to accommodate the fertilizer, which is designed for broadcast application to the entire lawn surface at specified times of the year. Turf fertilizers will continue to be available for broadcast application when needed. Pesticide-only products will also continue to be available for lawn care use to homeowners and commercial applicators for either spot treatments of localized weed patches or for use as broadcast applications to severely infested turf areas when warranted. Although more time consuming, pest control in lawn and turf can be achieved with careful pesticide spot applications that target only the pests that are present and separate broadcast applications of fertilizers. Now if only the US were to follow suit...

Topic by AngryRedhead   |  last reply


The secret to storing Loquat for wine making!

If you don't know what Loquat means then just look it up on Google or Wikipedia ;)Mostly used as ornamental trees in the warmer climates Loquat fruits come into season right when the summer is on your doorstep.Although the fruits are delicious and high in nutrients, vitamins and so on: Most people do not even bother to try them :(So if you spot them please give the fruit a try and you might get hooked as did.The biggest problem of using Loquat for more than a direct snack is not the seeds inside.They are quite big and you figure ways out to get around them.Biggest hassle is how the fruits ripen.Unlike most real fruit trees there is fixed time.When the first fruits are ready then the last migh be ready about 3 or even 4 weeks later.And depending on the local wildlife you really need to check daily for ripe fruits....So how to do it properly then?Loquat goes bad really fast no matter what you try.Eat them quickly as otherwise they go off.Don't bother...Those are common answers you get from people who had those trees for years in their gardens.The trick however is really simple:Do not plug them off, cut them off!Some half decent pruning sizzors work great here, especially the smaller types.Cut the stem of the fruit so at least 5mm are left on the fruit.Without the hole from ripping the fruit off and handling it with gentle force there will be no damages or open areas ;)Like that the fruits stay fresh for a few days in your fridge, just make sure they are kept quite loose.Do not just fill a big box with them and hope all fruits survive the pressure ;)If in doubt layer them on soft foam strips or cardboard - works really well if can find complete clusters that are ripe enough.If you have access to more than one big tree you can get enough to even make a really nice wine from it.You need to be quick though, so let me tell you how I do it:Prepare a big enough fermentation vessel, in my case a 25 liter plastic drum, purpose made...Add about 10 liters of warm on prefably filtered water, some sugar and a good amount of your prefered brewing yeast.My personal favourite here is port wine yeast ;)You should prepare this drum once you can collect enough ripe fruits on a daily base.Prepare the fruits by removing the stems, the hard spot at the bottom and then cutting them in half.A small spoon can be sharpened to help to get the seeds out if have some with many little ones hiding.Have a pot with boiling water ready and put about 250 to 400 grams of prepared and cleaned fruits in it per load.A quick heating is essential as you want to keep the cooking time as low as poosible.90 to 120 seconds should be enough to get the heat throughout the fruit - please check every now and then that the fruits are quite soft now.This step is vital to prevent self fermentation - you only want your yeast cultures to work on the fruits ;)Squash the fruits when adding them into your drum.To make a full 25 liters with just a table spoon of sugar at the start you will need about 10 to 12 kg of fruits for a high volume and sweet result.The best option due to the constantly changing sugaar content in the fruits is to go with the flow.Stick to max of about 15 liters per 25 liter drum.Monitor the sugar content and alcohol level.Port yeast dies off at a bit over 14%vol of alcohol.Although some strong ones go up to 18% here...If the alcohol level goes over 10% while the sugar content is still quite high then you add water until you get down to about 7%.If the sugar content goes down too low you add more fruits.With still enough active yeast you can even transfer half oa drum to a new batch once the drum is getting too full and the sugar content is still too high.Just a matter of getting used to working with ongiong adding of fruits and water to compensate the time it takes to get enough ripe fruits.Of course there is always the option to go low and start with 5 liter canisters instead....

Topic by Downunder35m 


Why is it so bad that the small bakeries disappear more and more...

Everyone loves a good bread roll, a nice and freshly baked bread...But where does it come from and what is really in it?When it comes to bread and bread rolls we tend to think all is fresh, especially when you see that your favourite supermarket has a bakery with a real oven.Our local baker that took over the business from his father not only sees a thread but also is unable to compete with the price.The consumer only too often selects by price only if look and taste seem to be good.A bread roll for under 20 cents, a whole bread for just over $2 and I am not talking toast here...So how is such a price possible or how can a "bakery" provide 30 or more different types of rolls and bread with just one or two small ovens and a tiny kitchen area?The trick on a small scale is to use ready to go mixes, just add yeast and water and you are set to go.On a big scale we talk about dough that is frozen, sometimes pre-baked but alsways already in the shape of the finnished product.Since there is just flour, salt and yeast in it what could the harm?Like with soft drinks and alcohol not all ingredients are legally required to be listed.Enzymes, antioxidants, modifiers and more.The claim is that ingredients that disappear during the baking need not mentioning at all.If we check how these helping substances are made we get everything from bacteria and fungi over chemical compositions that are lab created and even things that are totally engeneered.Why use nature if you can made the substance in a lab...Most countries have authorities that deal with just these things and their use.So as long as every single ingredient is legal and does not require to be listed it is fair game.The problem here is that no one really knows what goes into the dough for these ready to bake frozen products.As we know from our chemistry lessons in school even totally harmless components can combine to a harmful endproduct.Especially enzymes are used to to modify everything from DNA over meat products to modifying the appearence and shelf life of a product.For most if not all the secret ingredients used we are assured they are conform with the local law and food regulations but we will never know where they came from or how they could interact with each other.Every dentist will tell you that cheap, white (so called) bread is pretty much the worst for your teeth.The usual claim here is that it is too soft, might contain too much sugar but in general the carbohydrates convert to harmful sugars and food for bacteria.These bacteria then harm your teeth...This alone however has shown to be a bit of a misjudgement.If you take the official ingredients on their own then their harm on the teeth is basically non existing.It is again the enzymes and their remains that do the hard work by providing the base to convert a lot of contents directly to sugars through these bacteria.If we now go a step further and consider that bacteria do a pretty good in our body to keep a healthy balance and convert nutrients for us we have to wonder...A thing of our modern time is alleries, same for intolerance to certain foods.The sources for these are plentyful but apart from shielding ourselfs agains all bacteria, viruses and germs in general food is a common factor.Regions with limited or no access to processed foods or drinks show little to no signs of our common allergies or common helth conerns like heart disease or obesity.When it comes to our bread products it is obvious that we consume a lot of it and simply trust the claims on the pack.Rich in omega 3 added fibres, wholemeal...A real baker starting shortly after midnight to produce fresh products for his customer will just shake his head.There are many studies that show us the quality of certain foods, also a lot that show how fast food is bad for you.But when it comes to investigating the bread we eat every day we only find meaningless informations.The long term effect of some of the "secret" ingredients in bread are however well studied in animal tests.Digestive problems, failing to make use of certain basic amino acids, an affected central nervous system and even behaviour abnomalities have been observed.Of course we can't really compare a rat or pig on totally overdosed tests with what we eat on a daily base.But if certain enzymes and other ingredients in our frozen bread mixes and also dry mixes can do this then it is safe to asume that some sife effects from long term exposure will happen too.An enzyme that might just cause a less sticky dough might also affect meat.Another ingredient that should keep the dough firm enough for production machines could cause your stomach lining to produce far less liquids that help digestion.And other ingredients that might just try to produce a more uniform expansion of the dough might break down other food products in your intestines so the body can not convert them into as many other building blocks as before.Sure, we trust the claim that the baking will totall remove all traces of all the things that are not required to be listed.But lab test will show quite opposite, especially when it comes to soft, fluffy "bread" in sliced form.Bread is one of the basic food items everyone needs, so if being able to provide it at an "affordable" price is possible than not too many will actually check the product as a whole.Imagine you buy a premium looking steak and on the pack it states it was made with meat glue - another enzyme.You would not buy it...Thankfully most countries banned the use of meat glues after to many cases of related food poisoning happened.Should have been obvious that cut meat will have more bacteria and that gluing such pieces will result in bacteria to grow inside the meat at fast rates.So if you now wonder why such things are not fully regulated and checked ask yourself: why do you buy the cheap bread from your supermarket instead going to support your local baker?Money...Don't trust my words here!Grab a bread from your supermarket and some bread rolls, then do the same at a real bakery and compare the products.After that check for the best time and grab a few cold beer to have a nice chat about factory made bread products with the guy who kowns how to make it.You might be suprised what he will tell you ;)

Topic by Downunder35m   |  last reply


Hydrogen Peroxide at home and in the Garden

Although the topic is quite old for some of us and mostly because I am too lazy today to make an Instructable: Hydrogen Peroxide ! Back in the day Hydrogen Peroxide was mainly known for the ability to bleech your hair, later it replaced chlorine based products for the preparation of paper and organic fibres. For me it is a good opportunity to go back in time and to pull out some of the remedies my grandparents already used. Who knows, there might be something that helps you or you might know other good uses that I failed to mention here, so feel free to comment. First off: What actually is hydrogen peroxide? We could check Wikipedia but I think it is enough to say that it basically water with an added oxgen mulecule which turn the stuff into a quite powerfull oxidizer. When hydrogen peroxide reacts the added oxygen is released and the normal water remains. Precausions and health risks. In the normal supermarket form hydrogen peroxide comes at a strenght of just 3%. This is just enough for wound treatment or cleaning off a fresh and small stain. The stuff you can buy at your hair dresser comes in concentrations of 5-15%, above that it is of little use to them. Pool grade peroxide however can come as high as 50%. It often requires a permit of at least leaving a copy of your drivers license to buy such high concentration but well worth it price wise. The downside of anything above 5% is a risk for your skin, eyes and airways. So when handling hydrogen peroxide you should waer long sleeve rubber gloves, safety or better swimming goggles and make sure that you don't create vapour by spraying it against the wind direction. Having water at hand to dilute and spillage on your skin is always good. What happens to me if things go wrong? Well, if handled correctly nothing should go wrong but of cause the worst would be eye contact. Getting concentrated hydrogen peroxide in your eyes means extreme pain and even with rinsing it out asap eye damage is more than just possible. Again: wear proper eye protection and if spraying use a filter mask, the paper type is enough!!! Nothing immediate happens on sking contact but a few minutes after contact the skin will turn slightly brown or goes white. This is caused by the oxygen release into your skin cells, if washed off quickly after noticing the discoloration will fade after a few hours. Prolonged exposure of the skin can cause skin cells to fully discolor and living cells might get damaged - a burning sensation is usually the sign that you need to wash the area now ;) Enough bad stuff said, let's see what we can do in the garden.... Fungal infection of your old roses or on your fruit trees? Sometimes the weather does not like our plants and by the time we discover a fungal infestation it is usually pruning time. There are commercial producta available that work quite well but especially the copper based ones tend to do more harm than good in th long run. An alternative is a solution of 10-20% hydrogen peroxide. Spray generously over all affected parts of the plant, leaves, twigs, stem and all. Make sure everything is properly wet! In some cases the fungus can act as a water replellent and it seems impossible to get any of the solution to wet these areas - a drop of dish washing liquid into the bottle will fix this! Watever runs off can be left as it only helps to get oxygen into the soil but of course you should not soak the area... Leave it on for about an hour, around 20 minutes if it quite warm. Rinse all off with clear water and repeat every 2 days for 5 treatments all up. After this time wait 2 or 3 weeks and check if the fungus still gows in some hard to reach areas. If so then repeat the treatment there until satisfied but wait another 2 weeks every 5 single treatments. In some areas of the world certain types of fungus on roses are refered to as "rust". ----- Moved into a new home and the garden beds smell really bad? The last house I moved into had a previous occupant with a big dog but no time to clean after his pet. The garden beds looked dead and I mean so dead that I could not even find weeds in them. And the smell was a distinct mix of old dog poo with lots of fresh cat poo mixed in it - the perfect outdoor pet toilet :( Trying to dig it all under made me recover that the top soil was more §$&*# than soil. I had to get rid of the bacteria of all the poo and somehow neutralize a lot of the unwanted "nutrients". The solution was to first loosen all the soil as deep as I could go. Then I added rice straw (but anything straw like or dry grass will do) to mix it through. At this stage I wished I had a gas mask LOL All up the contaminated garden beds covered about 20square meters. I got a 10 liter canister of pool grade hydrogen peroxide, from this I diluted down with 20 liters of water and a few drops of dishwashing liquid to help with the soil wetting. All was applied as evenly as I good with a watering can and then the area was covered with some tarp to try keeping as much oxygen on and in the soil as possible. A day later the tarp was removed and all beds watered with hose to drowning point. This watering was repeated every 3 days for 3 weeks to drive out all the excess and unwanted nutrients from the poo. The smell was already gone except for some cat urine residue which disappeared after some rounds of watering. Three months after the initial treatment I did some soil tests, added nutrients were required and the next season I had vegetables growing :) ----- Planting? Whether from seeds or seedlings, give hydrogen peroxide a try! I use a 5% solution to soak the potting mix I use before putting my seeds in it. Not only does it kill a few of the unwanted things that might still be in there but it adds a lot of oxygen into the soil, which gives the seeds a much better start. For seeds I use a 5% solution as well but only leave them in for about an hour before placing them between some wet paper towels until they start germinating. This way I can be sure all harmful bacteria and fungal spores are dead and I can use a sterile seed to keep going. Might just be my opinion but I think the germination rate is better and seedling in comparison start growing faster and stronger. Home uses.... As we learned before hydrogen peroxide, at least in higher concentrations is a powerful way to remove fungus. In our bathrooms we often have the problem that the ceiling starts to develop black spots as in the colder times water condenses here and takes a long time to dry off. If you now go to your favorite hardware store they will recommend the use of a chlorine based product, basically bleach... And although it does the job it also means your house will stink for days and if you scrub the ceiling you will get it on your sking and stink too. Hydrogen peroxide at 20% or higher concentrations can be sprayed onto the cleiling :) Of course you will need good protection for this and all things color should be removed, like towels or floor mats. By protection I mean a minimum of swimming goggles, a tyvek suit or similar to cover all exposed skin areas and at least a paper dust mask, better a filtered respirator like you use for spray painting or using insecticides. If you have a spray bottle with an adjustable nozzle then a stream is far better than a spray mist!! Not only is your exposure far lower but it much easier to wet the ceiling quickly. Wet all affected areas, then leave and the room, close the door and take off all clothes you used t protect you. The clothes can be left out to dry but double check that you had no soaked spot where your sking might have been in contact - if so rinse the skin with plenty of water! It will take some time to work and then dry, so best to do this in the summer time or if during the colder times you need to make sure the room is porperly heated and aired out to dry! Repeat until all black spots are gone, really bad areas will leave a permanent discoloration looking like a slight brwonish color is the ligh it right otherwise you won't see it. Once fully dry it is best to scrape off all lose paint and then to use a acrylic based sealer before giving the ceiling a fresh coat of white. The sealer will prevent the water to penetrate more than the paint level and if you get the fungus back on the paint it is far easier to clean ;) ----- Carpet cleaning.... When moving into a new rental with carpet on the floor you often are left with areas indicating the carpet might be "clean" but the underlay certainly is not. You can fix the underlay but you certainly can make sure all harmful stuff is gone from the carpet. Carpet cleaning machines can be hired but often much cheaper if you buy the "recommended" cleaning product with it. Rent is usually based on a daily base and price depends on how much cleaner you need. If you only want to desinfect the carpet which otherwise looks mostly fine than go for the smallest pack available and use it to spot clean areas you want cleaner first. For the desinfecting part I recommend to test how high you can go with the concentration of the hydrogen peroxide before using it on a big scale - keep in mind the carpet will never be fully dry and the remaining peroxide will continue to act! Test a 10% solution first before you go higher as you don't want to buy 30 liters or more of pool grade peroxide - just trust me on that one and only try to buy this much you do want to get into trouble a few days later! If 10 percent solution left on the carpet does not cause any bleaching of the fabric (unwanted bleaching that is) you can try higher for spot cleaning in demanding areas. A good spot to try the solution is under the cover or duct outlets, under these joining bars where carpet changes to tiles (if you can lift them off) or in wardrobes if the carpet goes inside. There are two way to treat your carpet once the general cleaning is done. a) use a garden sprayer or similar to wet the carpet This is good for single room treatment like for the baby room but especially on thicker carpets it requires a lot of solution and can become costly. Once wet leave for at least 30 minutes so the peroxide can do its thing, then use the machine with either the solution filled or just to dry off the carpet. I recommend to use the peroxide solution in the machine as it allows for better penetration and it will remove more soiled solution this way. If your catching container starts bubbling like mad it means you have a lot of §$%&#+ in the carpet and it might be best to first clean it all with the normal carpet cleaning agent before using the peroxide again - again tesing on smaller areas can help wasting the peroxide. If you need to store prepared solutions than it is best in a cold place. It will take several hours on an otherwise clean carpet for the peroxide to fully disappear so it best to use shoes and prevent skin contact during that time - especially if a baby crawls around ;) ----- Toilet.... We don't want to talk about it but everyone needs to clean their toilet sooner or later. For most things in there using the toilet brush when it happens will keep things clean and healthy. But what if someone in the house is sick or with a weak immune system? You could use all sorts of commercial cleaners and desinfectants but a wipe with wet towel or cloth soaked in a 10% solution of hydrogen peroxide will quickly eliminate all harmfull things on your seat, lid or bowl, including the buttons to press and the door handles ;) Just wipe and leave it wet for a minute or two then wipe again and ry - done! Personal use I always pack a small bottle of supermarket grade peroxide when going off road or camping trips. Although we now have modern desinfectants that won't stink or otherwise harm you I still prefer the old stuff ;) If you are far from civilisation than the last thing you want to need is medical attention for something that started as small as a scratch or graze.... Out in the unkown wilderness you will never know if the rockk you just crash landed on was used as a urinal by a fox the night before... A bit of gravel left in your skin might contain harmful bacteria... A cut with your own knife?? - What did you all cut since the last proper cleaning of the blade? You see where I am going here, a small thing might turn into something really nasty a day or two later. If you clean a freash and minor wound properly and then rinsie it with hydrogen perodixe most if not all harmful leftovers will be killed by the releasing oxygen. Of course this pretty much useless on bleeding wounds or where it is obvious that you won't be able to remove all debris from the wound - here it means you trip is still over in favour for proper medical treatment. The thing is that hydrogen peroxide was basically abandoned for all wound treatment once the modern "cleaning aids" became available as the peroxide will not only attack harmful things but also living tissue. The claims goes as far as causing bad scar tissue, damage to blood vessels and even "burning" of the tissue. One big problem I have with all these claims is that they were never really mentioned until the new meds came out. IMHO exposure time and how you use it it the key - common sense if you ask me. Noone should ever soak a wound in peroxide, if it is that big that you need to soak it you need medical attention anyway. And as said you should rinse the wound, that means all remaining liquid should be allowed to flow off - this will only leave a minor amount of peroxide in the wound and the exposure time will end with once all oxygen is released. For minor wounds I only use a paper tissue or cotton bud soaked in peroxide and wipe the wound.... ----- Smelly feet? Ok, maybe not the best way to start a conversation but we all know what sneakers do to our feet in the summer... Insoles with copper and activated carbon will help a lot and at least "cure" your sneakers while they are off your feet and have time to dry. But the smell is actually cause by bacteria growing from everywherey in your sneaker to your sking, actuall starting at your sking... If you wear your sneakers for long periods of time time or even whenever possible and also suffer from a bad smell hydrogen peroxide might be able to help you. Most sneakers will tolerate a machine wash and should come out germ free, if that is no option pack them in a sealed back and leaven them in the freezer over night - this will kill all bacteria and remove the smell. Now to break the endless cycle you need to remove the bacteria from inside your skin. So daily sock changes, freezing shoes and washing feet is a must! Your feet will really benefit from a foot bath in a 5% solution of hydrogen peroxide. To keep costs at a minimum use a container that is just the right size for your feet and prepare the solution from pool grade peroxide. I an ideal case you should not need more than 2 liters but all used product can be stored cool and re-used the next day, after that you need to make a new batch. Keep your feet submerged for at least 10 minutes. This will allow a deep penetration of the skin but might result in some white spots that will disappear after a few hours. Consenquent foot baths can be reduced to 5 minutes. After about a week you should notice that wearing your sneakes no longer causes and bad smell and you can stop the treatment. Freezing the sneakers over night, dialy (or more) sock changes and daily, proper cleaning of your feet should prevent any further bad smells :) ----- Bleaching your hair Althoug it was done for many years I really can't recommend using hydron peroxide for this purpose! Any concentration strong enough to have a proper effect in a reasonable time will at least cuase skin irritation. Back in the days they said your burning scalp is what you need to endure to get blonde hair :( And as said already you really don't want to get that stuff into your eyes... General uses If you have a fruit based stain then cahnces are hydrogen peroxide will remove it, especially if fresh. Even at supermarket concentration repeated application and proper drying off with a paper towel or similar will remove even red wine or beetroot stains. ------ Blood... On you skin blood is easy removed with cold water, same on other surfaces but washing off is no option a wet cloth or cotton piece will work fine. Hydrogen peroxide is good if things need to go fst or if the surface is porous, here the releasing oxigen will drive out the blood with the bubbles. ----- Fish tanks... If you love your tank then you really hate to medicate or even worse have a bad algea infestion, especially the stuff of the black kind. A change to activated carbon filter material is always recommended after a medical treatment to remove all leftovers from the system. However, certain medication simply won't be affected by a carbon filter and stay in the system until fully used or broken down otherwise. Especially in bigger tanks a partial water change is often out of the question as it would cause too much additional stress to the fish and plants. Hydrogen peroxide can help to break down most if not all remains of the used medication while at the same time adding more oxygen to the water. To be sensitive and safe in all enviroments I recomment to calculate the concentration based on the volume of your tank and to add the required amount of peroxide very slowly into the outgoing water stream from your pump. By slowly I mean in terms of a slow drip if using solutions over 10% to be added to the tank. If in doubt remove a suitable amount of tank water into a bucket and add the concentrated peroxide to reach the final tank limit. I strongly recommend to stay below 2% in favour over additional treatments a few days later if required. That means the diluted solution you add should be entered into the tank slowly if in doubt add a glass full every few minutes. For the treatment of the dreaded black algea you do the same 2% solution but be prepared that it will take several treatment until you see them die off. If you can then it is best relocate the fish for a few days so you can use a stronger solution of 5-8% just with the plants left in the tank. When transporting fish in a bag it can pay off to add a little bit of 3% peroxide to the bag to give additional oxygen for transport. I do this maually for every fish I buy from a store so I can be sure all fungus and bacteris is killed of before I introduce it to my tank. Really helps to prevent loosing a lot of fish just because you added one or two more to your tank ;) For the normal sized transport bags I use a good shot glass full of 3% peroxide in case you wondered. ----- Fridge and freezer Be it after long use or because you bought one second hand - once empty and warm some of our colling gadget just smell bad. A good clean with a hot water and your favourite cleaning agent is a good start, no need for aggressive stuff ;) If clean but still smelly, like after a power failure with fish in it you might want to go one step further. Best option is to use a spray bottle and a peroxide solution of at least 15% here. Use proper protection as mentioned above and spray all surface with the solution until soaked. What you can take out you take you take out, clean properly and then wipe or brush with the same peroxide solution. Bare aluminium should be handled with caution as in some cases it can oxidise badly, leaving a white and not removable crust behind. Here it is best to wipe and then wipe again with a cloth soaked in clear water to limit exposure time. No need to dry out - wipe out and check if it still smells, if so repeat and wiped off all areas as good as you can with a solution soaked cloth. Once the smell is gone dry out and enjoy smell free use from now on :) ----- Fruit and vegetables Unless you know exactly what happened to it you might want to clean your vegies and fruits properly before using them. Pesticides, herbicites, fungicites.... Not mention normal fungus and bacteria on the product.... On a commercial base hydron peroxide baths are often used to clean products for sensible people, hospital use or long term storage. For a personal use this only makes sense if you have free and unlimited access to the peroxide. An alternative are ozone bubblers. Expensive models can eb bought in shops or online, complete with timers or even a gauge showing the concentration in a room. On a hobby level for the kitchen sink we can use an ozone generator, air pump and bubble stone from the aquarium store ;) Let the pump bubble out the ozone for a minute or two, fill the sink with the fruit and veggies and move them around every few minutes. Best of course with an open window to limit you exposure to the ozone! Rule of thumb: If you can smell it is already too much in the air! The ozone in the water does the same as the peroxide: It breaks down harmful things with pure oxygen. The downside is that it is very harmful for your airways and body in general, so against all what youtube can offer I actually prefer to treat my fruit and veggie in a sealed bag. Place them inside, push out as much air as you can and then fill up with the ozone from the generator. Once the bag is full leave for about 30 minutes then wash and use or place the things in the fridge.

Topic by Downunder35m   |  last reply


UV filtration in your fish tank or small fish pond

Year after year the topic "I have a fish tank" seems to go more out of control. What was once a hobby just to have some fish can now be a design feature both in your home and inside the tank. Realistic looking lasdscapes, optical illusions that make you think the tank is much bigger and the list goes on. But one thing that now always pops up is the must have thing of UV filtration. Or to be precise: UV-C sterilisation! Now, if we trust Wiki and our big water suppliers then UV-C will literally kill anything alive that comes into contact with. So of course it would be a good thing to have for your tank - or not? UV-C is very dangerous for your eyesight and quite harmful for your skin! Looking into a proper UV-C lamp without protection means you can go blind! Even good sunglasses might not have enough protection in the UV-C range, so only use them for additional protection but never without and glass between you and the lamp! Don't be a fool! Treat UV-C seriously! You would not look into the full sun with your sunglasses and would not expose your eyes or skin to a powerful laser, UV-C is to be treated the same way! Let's start by using some boring text to explain the concept a little bit. On a large scale special and quite powerful systems are used to treat our drinking or pool water. Here special UV-C lights with a wavelenghts of 260nm or below are used to shine through the water passing by. There are two key factors here. a) the wavelenght b) the water flow rate and the corresponding time the water is in contact with the UV light To ensure all bacteria, viruses, algae and other harmful organics are dead the water must circulate for long enough so even the last water molecule had a few seconds of exposure. All this only works good with "crystal clear" water for obvious reasons as otherwise the UV has to be even more powerful to pass through. Single cell organisms literally crack into pieces similar to being exposed to gamma rays, more complex cells like algae have their cell membranes damages and the DNA suffers as well causing reproduction loss and early death. Even some chemicals break down, most importantly here chlorine based substances. Differences within the UV-C range! If you bothered to check Wiki about the topic of UV-C you will already know that only certain wavelengths within this spectrum will actuall be powerful enough to do what we want it to do. And here is the first problem for us hobby users. Most cheaply advertised "sterlisation lamps" you find in places like Ebay are actually totally useless. Stating to be selling a UV-C light to sterilze your water in such a case is still not considered to be fraud though. Simply because it still does what it supposed to do, just very slow and with very little effect. Only the so called "short wave" UV-C range is powerful enough! To avoid loosing business during the times of the biggest hype in 20 years no seller will actuall state the available wavelengths. That means without this info anywhere you can be certain the advertised lamp is of little to no use. Even those advertised to be short wave UV-C might not be the real deal. However, if a decent manufacturer is behind the actual lamp used it is possible to check the datasheet for these performance figures - but again most cheap systems come with no-name lamps inside. Check the prices for a reputable UV-C light with the same lamp fitting, e.g. G23 and you will see it might cost more than your entire system. Ok, you have a poper short wave UV-C lamp or consider getting a canister filter with one in it.... Never, ever test your lamp without proper protection!!!!! UV-C will damage your eye within seconds! If you system or lamp does not provide a viewing port or shine through area then you have to place a piece of glass between you and the light! UV-C won't be able to penetrate normal window glass but will pass through quartz glass. Place the lamp in a box and cover with the glass. How make proper use of UV-C sterilisation... The replacement lights are quite expensive, so let's see how to get the most out of them. As said before exposure is the key factor so the flow rate of the UV system must match tank size and flow rate of your filter system. Canister filters with a build in lamp should be designed to match but I will tell you later what to look for ;) Most of us will prefer to have a in-line system if there is already a good canister filter at work, so I will focus on those and rop in solutions. If you compare in-line system you might notice that some quite small and low power units claim to allow for the same flow rates as for example 40W units. Some are fraud and just want to sell while others use simple physics to make the claim true. A good system will utilise an auger like "ramp" that forces the water to circulate around the tube many times - causing up to ten times longer exposure rates. Others create this sprial effect more like a vortex with some diverters and modified inlets. The later seems to be less efficient though with low power lamps. An in-line system should be on the outlet side of your canister filter so the best quality water will pass through it. A drop in solution should be used alone and without the existing normal filter pump you might have in there. Ok, got it, but how do I actually use it now? Despite common thinking a UV-C system should not run 24/7 like your normal filter. You really only need it to solve problems you should not have in a healthy tank! It is not a magical solution to make your underlaying problems go away ;) Let's start with the most common reason someone buys a UV-C system: An algae or bacterial outbreak causing greenish or milky water. If that developed slowly over a period of weeks then you would be better off to do a good clean of the tank and filter plus a decent water exchange. A few drops of meds will do the rest. And if you constantly get algae growing on your glass, ornaments and plants then your nutrient levels and water quality is not right anyway and needs a good check. But of course there is also the problem of light - too much for too long and unwanted gree appears everywhere. If in doubt reduce the light power, shade out natural light or reduce the on time for your lights. Having said that we now face the problem of a sudden outbreak after introducing new fish or plants. If you don't have a quarantaine tank chances are that sooner or later you get unwanted or even harmful guest into your tank. Here the UV-C will be beneficial, which is why a canister filter with build in light should have a seperate switch or power supply for the light. After an outbreak or while introducing new life into your tank the UV-C will remove a lot of the things that we don't want to bring along. For new life I leave the light on non stop for a week, that is for a small 4ft tank with 200 liters. To control an outbreak it depends on how bad it is. I assume here you can still see the back of your tank  but that the water either appears greenish or slightly milky from bacteria. As a personal thing I prefer to to remove and clean my filter material before treating a severe outbreak. Once done I fill the filter with a mix of activate carbon material and fine filter wool. Reason for this quite simple: The outbreak causing stuff is already in your filter material and will be a constant source of re-infection. And since breaking down all this bad stuff causes even more bad stuff to be produced as biological waste we want to discard it properly once done. Using just fine filter wool and activated carbon also reduces the flow rate bit if compacted ;) Now we can turn on the light and pump and forget about it for a while. It is not recommended to run UV lights on a timer as you want them on all time to prevent short lifespan and have ongoing treatment of the water. Good idea to take a picture at the same of a day from now on to compare and check results. After 3 days the water should definately be clearer, if not then either your filter material is packed too losse or the lamp is no good. Once the water appears to be clear do a readin test - take a newspaper behind the tank and check if the text is clear - blurry means the water is still not clean. You will reach a point where the water quality will not further improve as much as in the days before. This is the time where you discard or clean out to dry your filter material and put the original stuff back in. The activated carbon should be discarded of course. You cleaned filter material will now need a certain time to grow enough good bacteria to go back to the old performance. During this time you should still leave the light on. In most cases with enough fish and plants in the tank a week should be sufficient. After that you can leave the light off and keep the tank fit and healthy. Special case: Algae everywhere! Especially after getting a new plant you can end up with quite pesty algae growth. Be it these long ghost hair types or in a bad case the black stuff growing on plants, ornaments and the glass. I have even seen tanks with algae covering the entire bottom of the tank causing the gravel to look like carpet. Here I can only advise to set up a quarantaine tank for your fish. Then remove all infested material for manual removal and cleaning. Infested plants should be cut clean and what can be boiled should be boiled in water for a few minutes. Now start scrubbing in the tank with ongoing water replacements. I prefer to let everything settle over night without any bubbler or pump running. This way I can suck up a lot of sediment the next day. If you can remove all plants and fish you can now use hydrogen peroxide and add it to your tank water. But this is only feasable for small desktop tanks. Before using the UV as above to cure an outbreak you should consider all water one last time. Allow at least 2 weeks with ongoing water checks before adding plants back in and another week before placing your fish back in the tank. The week before adding fish should be used to monitor the plats for any signs of algae you might have missed - if you find any remove it! A week after the fish is back in you can turn off the UV light. Underwater UV-C light!? In most online stores you will find quite cheap UV lights to be advertised as underwater or in tank use. Although it might sound tempting you should be well aware of the dangers of using them. The glass of your tank will block the harmfull UV rays but the water surface won't, so either don't ever look at it or use proper sunglasses with real UV protection. Apart from the dangers to you these lamps are not just cheap in price but also cheaply produced. That means there is no way of telling how much or how little UV-C is produced. If they are good then you still need to know in what type of tank setup you can use them. As plants can tolerate a bit of UV a placement as far away from the nearest plant should do, especially if you can place a bubble wall betwenn light and plants. The fish is another thing as some seem to be unaware of the danger in their tank. This means they can get too close to the light but I have not found any articles explaining how harmful UV-C is to fish or their eyesight. I guess once your fish starts to bounce into everything you know... ;) My advise is to stay away from the idea of hanging a UV-C lamp in your tank, the risk for you and your tank is just not justified. If you need to go cheap then get two or thre of these lamps so you have spares. But use them externally ;) Meaning: Take a UV proof plastic container of small size and place the light in there. To be really safe tape the lid and all holes for the hoses with black tape. Place the container above the water level of your tank and if you only have an internal filter pump push a suitable sized hose into the outlet to feed into you canister. Check how high you pump can make it and place the outlet or overflow slightly below this level. When to change the light? If you made it all the way down here then you might already had the benefit of using light to "cure" your tank. Now we are faced with the high replacement cost for the lamp itself. Ususally only flouroscent tubes are used. It is always good to check after purchase what type of lamp and manufacturer (if there is one) was used. In some cases the system itself is like an inkjet printer: Just a cheap way to make you buy the consumables. Let's say you new in-line filter was priced at $100 to have a nice round number, some are cheaper some much more expensive. The lamp used might be an exotic type and not even be available easy, so before you buy your system check where you can get spares, not just the lamp of course. A replacement lamp can be as ceap as 20 bucks or cost even more than your system if you need to order it elsewhere. The quartz glass sleeve can break too meaning you then need a lamp and cylinder. Going with a reputable brand and paying a bit more certainly helps to get spares in the future. Let's just assume you either got your system in bulk due to the price of replacement lamps or can get them at a reasonable price. UV-C lamps are not like your normal flouroscent light tubes you have around or maybe even on top of your tank. Consider them like the tubes used in the now unhealthy tanning beds. After a certain amount of time they no longer produce enough of the short wave UV light that we need. As you can't see it and most of us won't have the means to specifically measure it we have to trust manufacturers recommendations. For most good brands the numbers are the same: 8000 hours max. Considering the costs it does make sense to keep written track of the usage. Not too hard since we won't use them like normal lights but instead have them on for a week or more without turning them off. I recommend to have a replacement at hand long before you need it. A lamp can fail premature, crack or simply burn out. The 8000 hours are based on 24 hour usage, so one day on, one day off. This could mean for us the lifetime can be slightly longer but I would not go over 9000 hours. As a rule of thumb: If the water does not show good signs of getting clear on day thre the lamp is due.

Topic by Downunder35m   |  last reply